Complaints (Investigations and Resolutions)
It is the policy of the department to courteously receive and to promptly investigate complaints concerning its employees including any complaints concerning racial profiling.
How to submit a Complaint
Citizens who complain must:
- 1. Fill out the complaint form completely, including at least one way to contact the citizen.
- 2. Be personally involved in the incident with the police employee, or the parent of an involved juvenile.
- 3. Provide enough detail about the incident that the Police Department can locate records of the incident.
- 4. Specify what he/she believes the officer did wrong.
- 5. Affirm that the allegations are true.
- 6. Be available for interviews in person by the investigating supervisor.
- 7. Promptly give the investigating supervisor copies of evidence or documents, and/or names of witnesses related to the complaint.
If the person complaining fails to cooperate with this process, the matter will be investigated as an internal inquiry. It will not be a formal complaint. If so, the citizen may not be notified in writing about the decision.
The Texas Government Code, Section 614.022, provides that all complaints on law enforcement officers be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint - oral or e-mail complaints must be submitted in writing affixed with the signature of the complainant via use of the Citizen Complaint/Commendation Form.
A person refusing to make a written complaint or who makes an anonymous complaint does not necessarily prevent an investigation from being initiated on the facts provided by the complainant; however, it may result in the matter being more difficult and time consuming to process and resolve.
Upon receipt of a complaint, a notification will be prepared and sent to the complainant informing him or her that the complaint is to be investigated, and that they will be contacted personally, if at all possible, by an investigator to discuss in detail the allegation(s) made against the law enforcement officer or department employee.
The department has two types of complaint investigations, Personnel Complaint Investigations and Administrative Inquiries. An Administrative Inquiry may be conducted prior to the filing of a formal complaint. A formal complaint (Personnel Complaint Investigation) is defined as a formal written allegation against a member of the department, which could result in disciplinary action if one or more of the following were found to be violated:
- An infraction of department rules, regulations, or policies.
- An illegal act.
Department policy and the Texas Government Code both require a copy of the formal complaint be presented to the accused employee within a reasonable time and before any disciplinary action may be imposed. The purpose of the investigation is to seek out the facts in a particular situation and to ascertain the truth. The investigation or inquiry may be conducted by a supervisor or the Chief of Police. Allegations contained in a formal complaint investigation may have one of four outcomes:
- Unfounded – no truth to allegations
- Exonerated - allegations true, but are the result of adherence to departmental policy or procedure (Exonerated complaints will be reviewed by the Chief of Police for policy issues.)
- Not sustained- unable to verify the truth of the matters under investigation
- Sustained – allegations are true
Complaints will not be classified as sustained unless based upon a finding of facts determined during the investigation. At the conclusion of an investigation/inquiry, the report will be reviewed by the accused employee’s supervisors whose review comments will be forwarded to the Chief of Police for appropriate action. At the final conclusion of the complaint investigation or administrative inquiry, the complainant and the employee will be given written notification of the outcome. If the process is not complete within 90 days, a status notification will be sent to both the complainant and the employee. If a complainant deliberately gives false information resulting in the department conducting an investigation, this information can be presented to the appropriate prosecutor for prosecution under the appropriate Texas statutes.
We also welcome your comments on the effectiveness of Spring ISD police personnel and the manner in which they conduct themselves. If you would like to commend the actions of one of our Spring ISD police officers or employees, please contact our department.